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Groundwater protection:What can we learn from Germany?

Yan ZHU,Klaus-Dieter BALKE(Institute for Geosciences,University of Tübingen,Sigwartstr.10,D-72076 Tübingen,Germany)  
For drinking water security the German waterworks proceed on a comprehensive concept,i.e.,the protection of all the regions from the recharge area to the client.It includes the protection of the recharge area by a precautionary management,a safe water treatment,a strict maintenance of the water distribution network,continuous control and an intensive training of staff.Groundwater protection zones together with effective regulations and control play a very important role.Three protection zones with different restrictions in land-use are distinguished.Water in reservoirs and lakes is also protected by Surface Water Protection Zones.Within the surrounding area the land-use is controlled,too.Special treatment is necessary if acidification happens caused by acid rain,or eutrophication caused by the inflow of sewage.Very important is the collaboration between waterworks and the farmers cultivating land in the recharge area in order to execute water-protecting ecological farming with the aim to reduce the application of fertilizers and plant protection agents.Probable financial losses have to be compensated by the waterworks.
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